Students challenged for new ideas

Robert Gordon University (RGU) will launch its 2011 New Ideas Competition, on Wednesday 2 November at ‘The City' from 6.30pm onwards, in preparation for the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) national competition.

RGU will launch the New Business Ideas Challenge across its three faculties of Design and Technology, Health and Social Care and Aberdeen Business School (ABS), before taking part in the Scottish Institute for Enterprise's national competition. The launch marks the opening for entries with guest speaker, Mick Jackson, providing inspiration for students.

The SIE New Ideas Competition gives students and recent graduates the opportunity to win £1500 towards an idea for a new product, business or social enterprise.

Universities across Scotland run local challenges for their institution with the best ideas going forward to the main competition, where finalists pitch their ideas to a panel of experts. The SIE competition provides the winning entrepreneurs with the funding and support to get their business ideas off the ground.

RGU's leg of the competition is part of the Charles P Skene Entrepreneurship Programme and through the university's Business Incubator will provide support and coaching to help students turn their business ideas into viable commercial ventures before pitting students from the three different faculties against each other in order to generate a range of new business ideas in areas such as art, design, pharmacy, marketing and retail.

Judges will focus on ideas most relevant to students' chosen fields of study. The best three ideas from each Faculty will then be further refined to ensure genuine commercial viability, with the winning proposals sharing a total prize fund of £2100, before being entered into the SIE National Competition as business propositions.

Dr John Park, Charles P Skene Entrepreneurship Programme Leader at the university, explains: "By running the university leg of the competition before the national heats, we aim to recognise that we have three distinct faculties, each with students full of innovative ideas.

"The Entrepreneurship Programme seeks to instil the process of generating new ideas into the minds of the entire student population, not just our business students, to capitalise on the knowledge and skills learned in each Faculty."

Mick, named ‘Top Scot' and ‘Entrepreneur of the Year' at the prestigious Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards in 2007, is a serial entrepreneur, venture philanthropist, international business speaker and author. He will address students at the launch with an inspiring talk on his award-winning venture, WildHearts in Action, demonstrating that businesses can have a strong social impact in the hope that this will drive broader engagement in enterprise within the student population.

During the launch evening, students will have the opportunity to meet Mick and also explore the support available to students from the university's Entrepreneurship Programme.

Notes to Editors:
There will be an opportunity to photograph and interview Dr John Park and WildHearts in Action founder, Mick Jackson, upstairs in ‘The City' on Wednesday 2 November at 6.15pm.

Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE):
• The Scottish Institute for Enterprise works with all nineteen Higher Education Institutions in Scotland to deliver seminars, events and support by which to develop the entrepreneurial skills of Scotland's students.

• The Institute works directly with students and academics by helping to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and skills and by providing business development coaching, resources and networks.

• For more information, please visit

• WildHearts is a registered charity and office supplies company that donates all its profits to the poor. Created to allow businesses to make a difference and donate to charity whilst making a living, WildHearts combines entrepreneurial expertise and efficiency with philanthropy.

• For more information, please visit

Issued By:

Katie Begg
Communications Officer | Aberdeen Business School

Robert Gordon University
AB10 1FR
Tel: 01224 262144